In a bid to raise political awareness for effective participation in the 2023 general election, a non- governmental organisation (NGO) has sensitised selected councilors and community leaders ahead of 2023 election to be part of the decision making at the grassroots level.
The sensitisation was done in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, as a wakeup call in selecting good leaders that will represent the people to change the negative narrative.
In her opening remarks, the Programme Officer of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Nelly Umoreen said that inclusive governance was a veritable tool to promote national growth, especially using the National Gender Policy framework to check transparency and accountability in a democracy.
She attributed Nigeria’s slow pace of political development to lack of implementation of the National Gender Policy which is a catalyst to political development.
Earlier in her presentation, the Executive Director of the organisation, Emem Okon called on elected councilors and community leaders to deliberately include gender in their budget proposal and seek for more women participation in the governance structure at the community level by abolishing cultural practice that hindered women from political involvement, especially now that 2023 is getting close.
The activist blamed the political architecture of Nigerian politics which supports favoritism, nepotism and male domineering to the detriment of the women while charging them to rise up to the occasion.
Okon further explained that obnoxious culture against women had also contributed to poor development, noting that there were many women Presidents in the world but regretted that Nigeria, since Independence has not produced a woman governor and that those in the elected and appointed political positions were too few.
“Men and women in politics should play a complimentary role not competitive role,” she added.
The women right campaigner maintained that the national and states’ budgets over the years have excluded the women, persons with disability, the aged and the vulnerable people, hence, poverty is on the increase.
Some participants at the event attributed low level of women participation in politics to fear, intimidation, moneybags politics and the use of violence by men.
Councilors however, eulogised the Governor of Rivers State, Nyensom Wike for deliberately reserving the Vice Chairman position of the 23 local government areas of Rivers State for women as a sign of empowerment and inclusion as they call on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint more women into positions of trust.
They also called on lawmakers in the state to domesticate the 13 percent affirmative action.